HOW TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Page

Letters to the editor are some of most popular pages in the newspaper and an excellent way to spread a pro-vaccine message to your community. Your can write a letter that expands on current vaccine news, make a new point, or correct misinformation or false balance in a news story.

To maximize your chances of getting you letter published, make your letter relevant to current news. The ideal timeline to reply to a previously published article or letter is within two days for daily paper, and since the previous issue of a weekly paper.

TYPICAL EMAIL FORMAT

HEADER
To: the Editor

SUBJECT
Letter re: “title of article,” date of article

BODY
Address one point in 1 – 3 paragraphs. This should typically be up to 250 words, but as few as 100 – 150 for national papers.

Outline how readers will be affected by the issue you are writing about. You can also call readers to a specific action, such as to call or write their legislator or get more involved with a local coalition. You can also name your elected officials and ask them to take specific action.

CLOSING
Your full name
Your address
Your phone number, if required

###

ADDITIONAL TIPS

If you are targeting a specific publication, look through the archives and note the characteristics of letters that have been published
Use concise language (do not say “I think…”) and write at a level that will be understood by typical readers
Do not include email attachments
Do not use ALL CAPS for emphasis
Verify the facts in your letter and do not exaggerate or use hyperbole
If your target publication uses links in online letters, include relevant hyperlinks in your email

Advertisements